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16 arrested in Tempe prostitution sting

PHOENIX -- Sixteen men were arrested last week at a Tempe hotel during a prostitution sting, according to Tempe police.

The bust occurred at a local hotel near Priest Drive and Baseline Road between July 8-9.

The men arrested are between the ages of 27 and 71, according to a release. Charges filed include soliciting prostitution, indecent exposure and drug possession.

Lt. Scott Smith said the average age of entry into prostitution in Phoenix is approximately 14 years of age.

"Studies demonstrate a majority of sexually exploited persons enter into the sex trade as minors and are often coerced or forced to engage in acts of prostitution by pimps or traffickers," Smith said in a release. "Targeting demand is part of a larger strategy by Arizona law enforcement to keep our communities safe."

The operation targeted adult prostitution specifically.

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